DISCLAIMER: We were gifted the tickets to attend the baby disco by Monski Mouse, but as ever the opinions are my own
Today our boys were taken to a football match by my parents and so we were a more typical sized family of 4… It was all rather odd and I felt like I had forgotten something all day, but it was easier to manage! This coincided with the very kind offer of Monski Mouse to go her Baby Disco Dance Hall at the Underbelly Festival on the Southbank and we are really happy that we did as – it was such a fun afternoon. Don’t stop reading if you aren’t near London as Monski Mouse’s baby disco dancehall is also coming to Brighton, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Edinburgh this summer so there are plenty of dates and locations to choose from.
The Underbelly Festival
Firstly to the Underbelly Festival itself… this has been running in London for the past 10 years. Somehow this information completely passed me by until this year, but it is season of live entertainment shows that runs from April – September and covers genres from comedy and cabaret to kids shows such as the Monski Mouse Baby Disco Dance Hall and Aliens Love Underpants amongst others. They also have a variety of drinks tents and food places along with tables and chairs. It is really nicely laid out and definitely feels like a different environment to the rest of the Southbank, but be warned today was a very sunny day and it was very busy. We got a table, but anyone arriving later than us would have struggled. It was very lovely to be able to sit there having lunch and a drink in advance of the show so I would recommend giving it a whirl although I did find the food expensive. By the way you don’t have to have tickets to the shows to go into the festival.
Monski Mouse Baby Disco Dance Hall
The disco takes place in the Spiegeltent at the festival and it is the perfect place for it with lots of room for toddlers to run around and get dancing along with a bar for mum and dad to visit and some tables around the outside so you can dump your stuff and perhaps sit down for a minute, but don’t expect to be sitting down much as this is all about getting up and moving. From the very start of the disco Monski Mouse is encouraging everyone to join in. It is not just about sitting on the side and watching them dance, but about doing what you are able to. So you are encouraged to join in as much as possible. What I thought was good at the start was that Monski Mouse essentially read your mind – she started talking immediately about how no one else could see us and so we could dance as much as we liked. It is a little daunting when you first arrive if you, like me, are not ever the first person on the dance floor and don’t know what to expect. I do love dancing, but just not first and typically not when stone cold sober unless it is with the kids and here’s the thing… this is why I think that Monski Mouse has got this just right; no matter how shy we are about dancing for some reason as soon as the kids are there having a bop it is easier to forget about feeling self conscious and just be a little more toddler about it all. Within the space of a few minutes everyone was up and dancing and joining in with the actions to the warm up. It really was quite remarkable that she managed to engage the room so quickly and get grown ups crawling around the floor being lions. Now if the thought of that freaks you out, don’t worry, the is no big pressure sell to try to force you to dance. The whole thing is very relaxed and you can come and go as you please which is of course vital with the age group targeted (0-5yrs) Our twins needed no encouragement and were straight in there jumping around literally from when we walked through the door and if it hadn’t of been for one of them being very tired (due to their birthday party the day before) I think they both would have danced from start to finish.
So you don’t have to dance if you don’t want, but trust me you will want to… It is loads of fun and so well done that you can’t help but get involved. Even if you don’t want to I doubt your toddlers will let you get away with that. The highlight for me was doing ‘the lift’ from Dirty Dancing with my little girls. They were literally squealing with delight and so was I!! Another top moment was doing sleeping bunnies. Now we do this particular number a lot, but in this dark Spiegeltent in the middle of London I was not just singing along and smiling whilst the kids enjoyed themselves – oh no!! I too was sleeping and jumping. All very funny!
I was chatting to some other parents as we ran through the usual questions ‘are they twins’ etc… and one very lovely lady told me they had been to the baby disco 4 times and were planning more. They had a 2 year old and 1 year old in tow and were all getting involved. I love an activity that appeals to different ages as it makes life so much easier as a parent. I am fairly sure our 5 year old would also have loved this although I would say that most of the children there were slightly younger so I might have been worried about him trampling littles – however, he is particularly rambunctious and tall for his age so not the best example…
The music was a mix of children’s classics like Nelly the Elephant and Sleeping Bunnies and pop numbers like Taylor Swift Shake it Off and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t stop the feeling which I have to say was brilliant for us as the girls dance to those on a Saturday morning at their dance class so were going wild. It was all feel good music that gets those shoulders lifting and feet tapping… you simply can’t help but smile.
All the children were given a sticker at the end and were able to meet Monski Mouse and take a picture with her. By that point one of the littles was exhausted (too much dancing!) and so wasn’t up for that hence being missing from the photo. She was so friendly and great with the kids. We even got to meet her children. It is a family affair and that is what makes the difference I think. You can feel that a mummy (no disrespect to daddies) has devised this experience as it has it all covered!!
If I had to describe the experience I would say it is like the baby music classes you go to only x1000. It is as much about the adults having fun as the kids, is brilliantly thought out and a fantastic way for a family to spend an afternoon together having a blast. I would totally recommend it to any family with young children and so would my very opinionated 3 years olds who when asked what they liked the best said:
And then when asked what they would tell their friends one of them said this (I am not even joking this is word for word what my 3yr old said – she is 3 going on 25!)
So there you have it – listen to the 3 year old and get yourself down to see Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dancehall
Thank you again to Monski Mouse for letting us come and join in we had a blast and the twins both slept like angels so thanks for that too!!